International student numbers in Germany rise

The number of foreign students choosing to study in Germany rose by 7 per cent last year, new figures show.

According to the recently released annual “Wissenschaft Weltoffen” report, 321,569 international students are currently studying in Germany.

A total of 177,949 Bildungsauslaender (foreign students who attended high school outside of Germany) were enrolled in German universities last year – an increase of 10,815 from the previous year. The most significant jump came at postgraduate level, with the number of international Master’s students rising to 61,448 in 2015 – up 15 per cent from a year before.

At Bachelor’s level, international student enrolment rose by 8 per cent, to a total of 47,577.

The popularity of master’s degrees over bachelor’s can arguably be explained by the number of English-taught programmes. There are currently 984 English taught Masters degrees on offer in Germany, compared to just 192 bachelor’s programmes.

Though students from European countries made up the largest proportion of foreign students at 44 per cent (the highest in Europe_, the report notes that there has been a significant rise in the number of students coming from Asia. Approximately 38 per cent of all international students in Germany currently hail from Asia.

The number of Chinese international students in Germany topped 30,000 for the first time, with India (11,655) overtaking Russia (11,534) as the second highest source country. Austria and France completed the top five sender countries, with 9,875 and 7,305 respectively.

Low costs for studying and living expenses, an increased number of English taught master’s programmes and good job opportunities for foreign graduates are believed to be some of the main reasons behind the increases.

Article published 4th August 2016